Sunday, March 4, 2018

52 Ancestors: Where There’s a Will

Probably the first will of an ancestor that I reviewed was that of my 5th great grandfather, Ashbel Waller.  In fact, as I was preparing to add the information for this post I’d forgotten that I’d actually written about it before.  Man, this getting old SUCKS!  HERE is the original post.

Waller Ashbel Record of Will
Waller Ashbel Will

Thankfully, someone was kind enough to transcribe this for me and it’s confirmed some things that I’ve learned through my research.  I have A LOT of information about Ashbel and this reminds me, again, that I need to actually DO something with it.

Ashbel, the son of Phineas and Rhoda (Taylor) Waller was born 18 October 1759 in Cornwall, Connecticut. 1    He was baptized 11 November 1759.

Official Rost of Soldiers of American Revolution Ashbel Waller

Ashbel was married to Sarah Abbott of Sharon on 1 November 1781 by Judah Kellogg JP. 2

Ashbel Waller marriage Barbour Collection

The first definitive time I can place him after this marriage is in the 1790 Census in Luzerne, Pennsylvania in a household of 5 members – 1 free white male over age 16, 2 free white females over the age of 16, and 2 free white males under age 16.  Also on the census was Nathan, Daniel and Joseph Waller – most likely his brothers.

1800 shows him still in Luzerne, now with a 9 member household, all of which were free white people.  1 male over 45, 1 male 16 thru 25, 1 male 10 thru 15, 2 males under 10; 1 female 26 thru 44, 1 female 10 thru 15, 2 females under age 10.

In the Ohio, Compiled Census and Census Substitute Index I found Ashbel in Butler County, Ohio in 1807 and 1810.  I wonder what took him to Ohio.

I don’t know what happened to Sarah but Ashbel married again on 5 September 1820 to Elizabeth Blackleach in Butler County, Ohio.  They were married by Rev. James Hugh.  He was enumerated in the Federal Census on 7 August 1820 wth a free white woman over the age of 45 – was this Elizabeth prior to their marriage?

By 1830, Ashbel was now a free white male age 70 thru 79 in Union, Butler County, Ohio.  With him were a free white female age 60 through 69 and a free white female 15 thru 19.  I don’t know who the young female might have been as the age doesn’t fit for any of Ashbel’s children.  Maybe a grandchild?

1840 found Ashbel still in Union, Butler County, Ohio.  He was a free white male age 80 thru 89 with a free white woman age 70 thru 79.  I received quite a bit of information from the Butler County Historical Society several years ago (note to self – GET BACK TO THIS!) and in a letter to the County Commissioner in 1985 documenting some grave stones, learned that Elizabeth Blackleach Waller died in approximately 1841. 

What’s interesting about the 1840 census is that not only did I find Ashbel, but on the page before his entry is Jane Turner, a free white female age 50 thru 60.  With Jane were two free white males – one age 10 thru 15, one age 20 thru 30.  Know why Jane Turner is interesting?  Because on 12 April 1842 Ashbel married Jane Turner in Butler, Ohio. 3

And that leads us to Ashbel’s death on 20 September 1848.  Again I am puzzled as to the date of his will – 18 September 1848.  What prompted him to write (or dictate) a will on that particular date?  At nearly 90 years of age, I’m sure he knew he might not have much time but two days before his death?  I can just imagine him lying there and realizing he needed to take care of his family.

I don’t know for sure where Ashbel is buried, but from the information I received from the Butler County Historical Society I learned it is likely he is buried on the property he owned of about 101 acres in the northeast corner of Section 6.  Today it is described as about 0.4 mile eastward from 747 aong Hamilton-Mason Road thence about 0.2 mile southward parallel to the meidional section line.

Cyrus Osborne, Ashbel’s son-in-law and the Executor of the will, held a Sheriff’s Sale on 15 September 1849.

At $35 per acre, the sale would have brought $3,535 or about $108,000 in today’s dollars. 

Sheriff Sale Ashbel Waller

Now that I’m looking again at Zodoc Turner (stated as Zadre W. Turner in the transcription of the will), I’m wondering if that could be Jane Turner’s son who was listed in the 1840 census.

So after all of this, I’m not sure I’m any farther along than I was before.  What I know is that I have so much more research to do, particularly since Ashbel is my Revolutionary War patriot and my potential ticket into the DAR.

One last look for Jane Turner to see if I could find her after Ashbel’s death and look what I found in 1850 in Union, Butler County, Ohio.

Jane Turner Waller 1850 Census

Jane Waller with Benjamin Burton (who is this?) and next door?  None other than Zadock Turner!  My guess is that Zadock (or Zodoc or Zadre) was Jane’s son. 

More clues to follow up on.  Zadock, I’m going to find you!

1 The Official Roster of the soliders of the American Revolution buried in the state of Ohio.  Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Adjutant General's Dept., 1929-1959
2 Connecticut, Town Marriage Records pre 1870 (Barbour Collection)
3 "Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), Ashbel Waller and Jane Turner, 12 Apr 1842; citing Butler,Ohio, reference ; FHL microfilm 0355779 V. 1-4.
4 Hamilton Telegraph, 06 Sep 1849, Thu, Page 3


  1. Was that last wife a gold-digger? Marrying a man that old? Oh well. More power to Ashbel Waller!
    I checked the DAR database and see that no one has joined through Ashbel Waller. You will be the first! Pretty exciting to be able to name a NEW patriot. Get on it!

    1. Might be exciting but it seems a bit overwhelming to start with a NEW patriot. I have some documentation to gather.

  2. How exciting it must be to be able to trace an American ancestor back to the first census! You mentioned that he served in the Revolutionary War, but I didn't see anything here related to that---is it in a prior post?

    1. Yes, in a prior post. Hard to believe it's been 4 years and I'm no farther along than I was then.

    2. I will take a look---thanks!

    3. Quite amazing! And it seems you have made a lot of progress. Aside from his burial place, what else are you missing?

    4. I'm going to need to prove relationships - I'm close but I'm not sure what I have will be enough. This post reminded me that I need to focus on it.

  3. What an interesting name: Zadok! And, I do think Ashbel (another neat name!) was likely on his death bed when he wrote his will.